The first page in a book is supposed to hook the reader. I know a lot of people, including myself, will read the first page and decide from there whether to buy the book or not. Sometimes I’ll even read beyond the first page and then make my decision. So in all honesty, not only does the first page need to kickass but the whole first chapter does as well. However, it’s imperative that the first page captures the reader’s interest.
But what about the first line?
Oh, God, yeah. That. The first line is most definitely the crucial part to the first page.
There are many examples of a best first line of a novel. Here are a few:
They shot the white girl first–Paradise by Toni Morrison
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting–The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Cran
It was the day my grandmother exploded–The Crow Road by Iain M. Banks
So how are you going to write that fabulous first line to where a hand jumps out of the page, grabs the reader by the face, and yanks her into the story? What helps me is to read other author's opening pages. You can go on Amazon and read the first few pages of a book.
But then what?
Well, here are some tips for you that I go by . . .
* You need to write something interesting with a hook that sets the tone for the rest of the story. It doesn’t necessarily have to start out with action or conflict (it can though), but it has to be something important and relevant to the rest of the story.
* The main character is introduced.
* The story’s setting is revealed, but you shouldn’t reveal too much, just enough detail to tantalize some of the reader’s senses: sight, smell, hearing, and taste.
* You should end each chapter with a hook to engage the reader and set up the next chapter.
*Your pacing should be good and not bogged down by too much description.
* The first chapter needs to be the foundation for your story.
* You don’t need to reveal every character in your first chapter or every physical attribute or trait your main character has. Those things need to been woven in throughout the story.
* The first chapter does need to introduce the core conflict of the story, but the reader doesn’t need to know the details, just enough to pique her curiosity.
There you have. My first book (Beyond the Eyes) in my trilogy had won an award for the best first line in a book which was cool.
I hope my tips help you.